Anticipating the key holiday shopping season, the Entertainment Software Rating Board is making available new "ratings summaries" to supplement existing information about game content for parents.
The new summaries elaborate on game ratings "in objective terms," explaining the rating's context and the content that factored into the rating decision. These summaries will appear alongside existing ratings info searchable via the ESRB's website, its rating search widget and a mobile website.
The ESRB also allows parents to get customized lists of recently-rated titles, and these, too, will include the expanded ratings info.
"Research shows that the vast majority of parents who purchase games for their kids are aware of and regularly check ESRB ratings, but parents can always use more help when making choices as to which games are right for their children," says ESRB president Patricia Vance.
"With our new rating summaries, which provide exclusive and unprecedented insight into the nature of the content that triggered a given rating assignment, parents will be that much more empowered in making those choices."
The new initiative also received the endorsement of The National Institute on Media and the Family, historically a critic of video games and of the ESRB but more recently a collaborative partner, even receiving a portion
of the ESA's charitable grants.
Dr. David Walsh, president and founder of the National Institute on Media and the Family, praised the ESRB for "giving parents additional detailed information to make healthier gaming decisions."
PTA national president Jan Harp Domene also praised the initiative, and Senators Hillary Clinton and Joe Lieberman lent their support as well.
"This new supplement to the ratings is a real gift for parents as we head into this holiday season," said Clinton. "Parents need all the information they can get to make more informed decisions about what’s appropriate for their children. These new rating summaries offer more helpful information than ever before to help parents to get involved and get informed."